The Top Ten Dishes of 2007: #5

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This week I'm counting down my ten favorite dishes of 2007 -- and the absolute worst thing I ate all year.

#5. The "South Side Smoke" Sandwich at Stellina Pasta Café

The "South Side Smoke" is both a sandwich and a marvel of architecture, a great mass of pulled pork (braised for five and a half hours, then smoked over hickory and a little applewood for two and a half more), caramelized onion and creamy, still-melting smoked Gouda that somehow holds together between slices of fresh ciabatta until the moment you try to pick it up. The pork has a gentle, autumnal sweetness -- a little breeze of brown sugar -- and is so luscious you might consider visiting a cardiologist immediately after finishing it.

-- from "The Pasta House, Oh!" (April 5, 2007)

Stellina Pasta Café 3342 Watson Road 314-256-1600

-Ian Froeb

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